This was the first Belle & Sebastian album I bought, and to me, it is very special ... none of the others seem somehow as complete. I believe this is the second offering from the Scottish recluses, and here is a rich collection of beautifully crafted retro-sounding songs, reminiscent of early to mid seventies Al Stewart.
Deceptively simple, and as easy to settle into as an old pair of slippers, the gently confessional tunes are real growers, and they stay with you long after the CD has gone back in the case. Piano, or guitar based, they are deeply personal, with well observed lyrics sensitively delivered, covering tales of youth and rights of passage and intimate relationships. The romantic bookish imagery creates a yearning whimsy in the listener, and paints a real picture as only songs taken from painful truths can...and just like an old friend, they reward each time you come back to them with fresh insights. Heartwarming